Assessing Your Odds Of Getting In

Mr. Headhunter

  • 730 GMAT (on practice tests)
  • High 2.i
  • Undergraduate degree from the University of Oxford
  • Attended two years of law school in London (gained a commendation and distinction)
  • Work experience includes founding a legal recruitment company in London where he has worked for the past 18 months
  • “Hardly innovative however I wanted to start a business that didn’t require funding, could begin with just a phone and with my skills, and would be profitable”
  • Also worked as a corporate lawyer with two elite firms, advising Fortune 500 companies and private equity players
  • Extracurricular involvement providing pro bono legal advice and business mentor for a small business
  • “A lot of schools talk about being able to demonstrate resilience at their admissions meetings and Sandy talks about victim factor (or helping victims) for places like Stanford. I lost my father when I was young, was the first person in my family to go to university, and spent the first year of my recruitment business caring for my co-founder (mother) who required full time care; it’s one of the reasons I am not focusing on growing it (as she isn’t able to assist). She’s completely fine now (and totally endorses me going to the States) however experience of this gives me an added bit of mental resilience to the typical white-Oxbridge city candidate!”
  • Goal: To work in the States for a year and then transition his recruitment company into a global firm that leverages data and technology more effectively and focuses on serving innovative corporations and their business executives rather than law firms and lawyers
  • 27-year-old white male

Odds of Success:

Harvard: 20%
Stanford: 10%
Berkeley: 20% to 30%
Chicago: 30%
Dartmouth: 30% to 40%
Duke: 30% to 40%
UCLA: 30% to 40%
Cornell: 30% to 40%

Sandy’s Analysis: My advice to you, given your experiences, is to ask why you need an MBA in fhe first place? Moving from white shoe law firms to the rather grease ball job of legal headhunting is gonna take a lot of ‘splaining.

Also, your career path will make business schools wonder why you need an MBA and question those goals. It just seems unclear, reactive and improvisational rather than planned.

If you can get past all that and just focus on very a very solid legal career and then project some leadership role in Fortune 1000 companies in somce expanded counsel role then maybe.

Still, if you really hated law as so many lawyers do (I’m one of them!), you may be able to build a narrative that explains your decision to create the recruitment firm. Maybe there is a story involving your mom, your own entrepreneurial ambitions, and your dislike of law.

As you yourself know, H and S are real reaches and unlikely here. But the range of schools you’ve chosen as “target”—Berkeley Booth, Tuck, Fuqua—and your “safety” schools—UCLA and Cornell—make it highly likely that you’ll convince the Adcoms at a few of those schools to take a chance with you.

My advice: Get a boffo GMAT and dream of Wharton.